This paper discusses the successful fabrication of a novel triple-layered poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based composite membrane using only a single step that combines the techniques of solvent casting and thermally induced phase separation/solvent leaching. The resulting graded membrane consists of a small pore size layer-1 containing 10 wt% non-stoichiometric nanoapatite (NAp)+1-3 wt% lauric acid (LA) for fibroblastic cell and bacterial inhibition, an intermediate layer-2 with 20-50 wt% NAp+1 wt% LA, and a large pore size layer-3 containing 30-100 wt% NAp without LA to allow bone cell growth. The synergic effects of 10-30 wt% NAp and 1 wt% LA in the membrane demonstrated higher tensile strength (0.61 MPa) and a more elastic behavior (16.1% elongation at break) in 3 wt% LA added membrane compared with the pure PLGA (0.49 MPa, 9.1%). The addition of LA resulted in a remarkable plasticizing effect on PLGA at 3 wt% due to weak intermolecular interactions in PLGA. The pure and composite PLGA membranes had good cell viability toward human skin fibroblast, regardless of LA and NAp contents.
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